DIGITAL TOUR: Jerry Pinkney: Imaginings

The Covenant (1980)

Music Credit: 
Remember Me
Lucky Dube
Album: Prisoner 
Written By: Richard Siluma

Though he knew it to be an important literary work, Jerry Pinkney had not read The Covenant until he was commissioned to illustrate it. Excited by the prospect, he absorbed the text slowly to gather detailed information that would be useful for his drawings. His artworks for the book focus on significant moments and the clash of cultures and characters revealed in the author’s text.

James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers who set out to carve an empire out of a vast wilderness. The narrative whisks readers from the nation’s earliest days through its growth and development by following several key families right up to the time of apartheid. From the Javaborn Van Doorn family tree springs two branches: one nurtures lush vineyards, the other settles the interior to become the first Trekboers and Afrikaners. The Nxumalos, inhabitants of a peaceful village unchanged for centuries, unite warrior tribes into the powerful Zulu nation. And the wealthy Saltwoods are missionaries and settlers who join the masses to influence the wars and politics that ravage the country. Rivalries and passions abound as generations struggle to resolve land, language, and cultural disputes, providing much inspiration for the artist, whose illustrations punctuate each chapter and bring characters and events to life.

Untitled (1980)
Untitled 1980
Illustration for The Covenant by James A. Michener
The Franklin Library Edition
Pencil on paper – Collection of the artist
Untitled (1980)
Untitled 1980
Illustration for The Covenant by James A. Michener
The Franklin Library Edition
Pencil on paper – Collection of the artist
Untitled (1980)
Untitled 1980
Illustration for The Covenant by James A. Michener
The Franklin Library Edition
Pencil on paper – Collection of the artist
2017-03-01T11:38:07+00:00
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